reMarkable 2 review: A ‘paper tablet’ that can replace notebooks

Paper people—folks like me who prefer the feel of paper when it comes to notation and illustration—who are looking for a tablet to replace notebooks and printed documents can make the transition with the reMarkable 2. The device is essentially a large E Ink tablet (like a Kindle) that presents a focused and tuned experience that I highly recommend.

reMarkable 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The reMarkable 2 tablet itself retails for $399, with a choice of the basic Marker stylus at $49 or the upgraded Marker Plus at $99 (more on the differences later). There are also two options for keeping the tablet safe; a Folio sleeve retailing for $69 or a Book Folio starting at $99.

Hands-on with the reMarkable 2 hardware

The reMarkable 2’s large 10.3-inch display with 1872×1404 resolution (226 DPI) works like an E Ink display, and has all the benefits and drawbacks to such a system. Eye strain was never a problem, which is a major selling point over a traditional tablet screens like on the iPad (more on that later). Unfortunately, it also means there is no backlight technology, which limits its use in certain scenarios. The focus with the reMarkable 2 is to offer a superb writing experience, so a lighting system would compromise the device in that regard.

reMarkable 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Various tip options

And in that they have succeeded. Using the Marker to write on the reMarkable 2 feels amazing. There is just enough texture on the surface of the display to offer friction and that tactile feedback that exists when writing on paper. The Marker tip itself is firm and sleek but does wear over time and will need to be replaced eventually. Each Marker comes with nine extra tips, and I went through a tip about every four to six weeks. Your milage may vary based on your usage, and extra tips can be purchased directly from the reMarkable store.

reMarkable 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Both the Marker and Marker Plus styluses do not require charging or set up and worked like a charm right out of the box. They have a nice texture on the surface, and the circular design is broken by one flat edge that allows it to attach via magnets to the side of the reMarkable 2 for safe keeping. The edge also offers some benefits while you hold each stylus, and they felt very comfortable during long writing sessions.  With the Marker Plus, you can flip it over and erase, like you would with a pencil. 

At 403 grams and 4.7 millimeters thick (it measures 187mm wide and 246mm tall), the tablet is extremely easy to hold and store away in a briefcase or backpack. Most of the device is an off-white color surrounded by a gunmetal-like grey asymmetrical border.

At the bottom of the thick left bezel is where the USB-C port for charging the 3,000 mAh rechargeable battery, while at the top is the On/Off button. The top button is a little bit too flush with the top of the device and is sometimes hard to press.

reMarkable 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The back of the reMarkable 2 features four tiny feet that stop the device from sliding. Pressing down on the device while it is flat does exhibit a bit of flex and it is not as ridged as an iPad. But it does feel sturdy enough for everyday writing and shouldn’t have any problems holding up over time.